Team concept leads to top volleyball All-Region honors


H.L. Bourgeois' Shannon Jones (5) was named MVP of The Courier/Daily Comet's All-Region Volleyball Team. (Photo by File photo)


Commitment to team served E.D. White Catholic and Shannon Jones well during the 2012 high school volleyball season.

It was that commitment to team that brought the Lady Cardinals to within one set of winning the Division III state championship.

It was that same commitment to team that allowed Jones to expand her game and become one of the better players in the state.

Leading E.D. White in that team effort was coach Mary Cavell, and by taking the Lady Cardinals to another state finals match, she was named the Daily Comet/Courier All-Region Coach of the Year.

With the help of her team, Jones played a huge part in H.L. Bourgeois winning the District 7-I title and making a return trip to the Division I state tournament. Jones's outstanding season earned her the All-Region Most Valuable Player honor.

Cavell said it was through hard work and the players making a commitment to each other that led her program to its sixth runner-up trophy. It was the first time since 2008 that E.D. White reached a state finals match.

E.D. White lost to Ursuline, 25-19, 20-25, 26-24, 16-25, 9-15 in the 2012 finals.

"It was this group of girls, who watched three other (E.D. White) teams try to get to the finals, but didn't get there. It started last spring and they started to bond and work together," Cavell said. "They really worked hard and made sure everything was a team effort, and it came from everyone. Our seniors weren't the most talented, but they played with heart. The younger girls were more talented, but the seniors were the glue that held it all together. I attribute this season as a total team effort with leadership from our seniors and the talent from our younger players."

With only four seniors on the 2012 team, Cavell believes this year's run to the finals will lead to a better finish next season.

"You really have to go that extra mile in commitment and these girls did. Now that the younger girls have a taste, they are excited about next season," Cavell said. "The team bought into our program and it was a wonderful season. It was a special year, and we were on the court playing for a state championship. Now, the returning player all want to get back,"

H.L. Bourgeois lost in the Division I quarterfinals, but that shouldn't take away from the season Jones put together.

Jones was a terror at the net with 729 kills and a hitting percentage right at 50 percent. She also had 127 digs, 61 aces, 33 solo blocks and 19 block assists.

Jones said all of her accomplishments wouldn't be possible without her teammates.

"We had a very good season and we played as a team. We reached a lot of our goals. We wanted to win district and make the playoffs. We played as a team, and we never gave up on each other," Jones said.

An avid basketball player, Jones said her game reached another level when she finally fell in love with playing volleyball.

"Actually, I didn't think I would come out the way I did. I was so in love with basketball, but coach Peter (Verret) made me love volleyball," said Jones, who is the District 7-I MVP. "He never gave up on me and made me strive for more. I just became comfortable and I learned to love this sport. I just went out hard and this is what happened."

Verret said Jones became one of the quickest net players in the state, while being one of the most courteous players also.

"She is the type of player that asked me to toss her balls right after a three-hour practice. I can't say enough about her sportsmanship also, She will pound the ball on you, then asked if you are OK," Verret said. "She has done everything to get where she is, and she has played club ball and travel. Her mother found the way to get her to those matches, and her game has improved because of it. I would venture to say that she is one of the fastest (arm) swingers in the state. When she swings, you hardly see the ball coming."

Joining Jones on the All-Region first team are E.D. White's Emily Weimer and Michelle Riviere, Assumption's Erineka Mollere and Kevreion Ward and Vandebilt Catholic's Maggie Hamilton.

Weimer, who was the District 5-III MVP, was the Lady Cardinals middle hitter and was named the Most Outstanding Player for E.D. White in the state finals match. She averaged 11.4 kills, 6.2 blocks and 1.6 aces per match.

Riviere played along side Weimer and finished her season averaging 5.7 kills, 3.6 blocks and 0.9 assists per match.

Mollere and Ward were double trouble at the net for opposing teams playing Assumption.

Mollere, who was the District 6-II MVP, produced 67 kills, 40 digs and nine blocks for Assumption in district matches.

Ward rose above the net to pounded opponents with 79 kills and 10 blocks also in district matches.

Hamilton patrolled Vandebilt's backcourt and was a defensive standout for the Lady Terriers. She came up with 466 digs to go with 123 assists, 61 aces and 11 kills.

The All-Region second team consists of Terrebonne's Darian Dees; South Terrebonne's Julia Leblanc; Vandebilt's Erin Crane; H.L. Bourgeois's Rebekah Porche; Thibodaux's Eris Stove and E.D. White's Sydney Bordis.